Industry Chatter: A look at why the Penguins have been front & center recently in trying to swing trade for Mark Letestu

 

Story Highlights *Personnel Decisions from LA Win *On the Sheahan/Kessel fit *Penguins in deep trade talks for Center *Sharks Tierney one trade scenario that got away? *Insight on why staff favors Hunwick over Cole The Pittsburgh Penguins in a back-to-back situation turned to Casey DeSmith in goal and Pittsburgh came away with a 3-1 win over the Kings on Thursday. Mike Sullivan has been lukewarm about playing DeSmith at any point and what do you know, DeSmith backstopped the Penguins to victory in making 28 saves and flashed very good side-to-side quickness. He was peppered in the first period as Pittsburgh was out-shot 11-3 in period one but unlike Jonathan Quick, DeSmith avoided letting soft goals win and the Penguins got a really nice win. Some developments from this game connected to the trade deadline was

Penguins – Ducks Fallout: Vulnerabilities + Several Positive Trends continued in loss

 

Ducks 5 – Penguins 3 BREAKDOWN 1. The Penguins 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night showed recurring issues of why the Penguins have been such a vulnerable team defensively this year. Carelessness and poor decisions with the puck saw a Penguins 1-0 lead turn into a 4-1 Ducks lead at the end of two periods. “You can’t give up four breakaways,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan as the Ducks netted two breakaway goals in the four goal second period. The breakaway chances against were the Penguins putting opportunities on a platter for Anaheim such as Olli Maatta at the point shooting right into Ondrej Kase shin pads when clearly pressured that led to a breakaway goal the other way and Anaheim going up 4-1. “We’re hitting shinpads, we didn’t take care of the puck in certain areas of the rink and when we don’t play disciplined, diligent game inRead More »

The High-Flying Penguins are back & Coming at the opposition in Waves

 

Penguins are coming at the opposition in waves When the regular season ends on April 6th, the Metropolitan Division will likely have a similar look as the past two seasons. The Washington Capitals finishing in first place and the Pittsburgh Penguins finishing in second place. For the rest of the NHL here come the Penguins. That debacle vs the Carolina Hurricanes less than two weeks ago did something in that it woke up the Penguins high-end talent and what we have now is that the high-flying Penguins from Sidney Crosby on down. Pittsburgh followed up a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings Saturday with a dominating 5-2 win over the Rangers Sunday night and it was vintage Penguins of the past two seasons. Fast, electric offensive brand of hockey where the Penguins kept pressing offensively at every moment. Pittsburgh peppered the Rangers with 47 shots and this game feltRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Will Guentzel at center stick? Latest Trade Chatter & More

 

Story Highlights *Crosby headed towards a big second half? *All-Star Snub *More Guentzel at Center coming out of Bye? *A ‘favorite’ Center trade target of Pens Brass *Right in the mix for the ‘Big 2’ — Despite the steps forward defensively the Penguins took against the Islanders last Friday, the Boston game before the bye showed the Penguins defensive issues against talented teams with three lines that can push play isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s been the Penguins’ Achilles heel all season and will continue to be. Pittsburgh’s come-back win Sunday night was predicated by the opposition putting the Penguins on the power play that fueled the comeback and Pittsburgh’s high-end talent willing them to victory. Sound familiar? From what happened last Thursday night on home-ice against the Hurricanes, the narrative surrounding the Penguins has made a sudden change with the Islanders and Bruins wins in that Sidney CrosbyRead More »

Penguins – Islanders Fallout: On Sidney Crosby, Daniel Sprong & Tristan Jarry

 

Game Leaders Sidney Crosby | Goal, 3 Assists Daniel Sprong | 2 Goals, Assist Dominik Simon | 2 Assists Tristan Jarry | 31 Save Shutout Lose 4-0 to the Hurricanes with a dud performance on home-ice, come back the next night with a dominating 4-0 win over the Islanders on the road. The last two games were the Penguins season in a nutshell. Because of their struggles to even win consecutives games over the last five weeks, you don’t want to have an overreaction to the Penguins great performance Friday night against the Islanders but there were some promising developments: 1. The Penguins played with a playoff mindset and you saw them take over the game in the second period by winning all three zones. Pittsburgh gave up 30 scoring chances in the game and there was still some defensive blunders from the likes of Kris Letang, Ian Cole, butRead More »

More Red Flags as Pressure mounts on Penguins’ Brass to shakeup roster

 

Hurricanes put on dominating performance against listless Pens The Penguins 4-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes tonight will surely be another wake-up call for Penguins GM Jim Rutherford that banking on this particular group needs a shakeup. Tonight’s loss wasn’t a situation where the Penguins can sit back and say they ran into a hot goaltender. For the second time in less than a week, Carolina exposed the Penguins in similar areas as they did this past Friday night. Pittsburgh was atrocious again in defending the Hurricanes in transition and it’s more than just a lack of focus from the Penguins end. Skilled teams with the type of quickness the Hurricanes have continue to be major headaches for the Penguins with side-to-side puck movement. From mental breakdowns to losing a number of 1-on-1 plays defensively, the Penguins put a ton on tape of what’s wrong with this team defensively asRead More »

X’s & O’s: No finish ability, poor play away from the puck with forward group continue to haunt the Penguins

 

X’s & O’s The Pittsburgh Penguins can pat themselves on the back from Sunday’s 4-1 loss in that they generated 38 shots, were +9 in scoring chances during 5 vs 5 play and controlled 59% of their shot attempts ( 5 vs 5). Yet, this game was more than just Jimmy Howard out-playing Matt Murray. “It seems like the mistakes we made ended up in the back of our net,” Mike Sullivan said afterwards. “That’s just the way it’s going right now. We did a lot of really good things as well, I thought we had a lot of zone time. We had a significant amount of scoring chances. I thought we got inside more tonight than we have in the past handful of games. It stings when you lose, but I think we’ve got to make sure we keep our heads up and we keep getting more determined andRead More »

Sprong’s 4-point night forces the Penguins hand in finally calling him up

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday recalled minor league forward Garrett Wilson who has 0 points in 34 career NHL games. By-passed from another call-up situation, all Daniel Sprong did Friday night was go out and record a hat trick and add an assist for a four point night. Sprong scored goals 16, 17, and 18 on the season in the Baby Penguins 5-1 win over the Wolf Pack. It was Sprong’s second hat trick of the season and second four point night. Sprong with 18 goals and 10 assists in 29 games, is second in the AHL in goals. As the Penguins currently sit out of the playoffs, a sense of urgency to bring Sprong up has finally hit home with Penguin management. Sprong was officially recalled this morning and the 20 year old winger will join the team for Sunday’s game vs Detroit. Dominik Simon was re-assigned to WilkesRead More »